The relapse rate for women after substance-abuse treatment programs is too high (some estimate 22-40%). A newly sober woman has only a few friends, usually a male partner and a few female drinking (or drugging) buddies. Since these people likely will continue “partying,” she needs new healthy friends to hang out with. Also, she may have limited funds, making it difficult to pursue healthy, fun activities.
One of the best ways to maintain freedom from drugs and alcohol is to change one’s social networks.
To fill this need, a group of us formed a non-profit corporation, the Ann Arbor Women’s Group (A2WG), to connect sober women through fun and informative events, workshops, and retreats. We sponsor low-cost monthly events in Southeast Michigan with ample scholarships and transportation.
A2WG’s Miraculous Beginning
Our founder, Koos Eisenberg, noticed that newly sober women had no idea what to do with their weekends, so she asked them to join her at women’s professional basketball games. Afterwards, they’d go out for coffee and pie. Thus, the vision was born.
In 2006 we offered our first three-day retreat on the shores of Lake Huron, and many participants attended for only a fraction of the cost. A few months later, while standing in line to buy a speaker tape at the AA International Women’s Conference in Detroit, Koos shared her vision with the young woman behind her who replied, “You’ve got to meet my mom! She’s gonna love this!”
Up they went in an elevator to the mother’s hotel room in the glass-tubed Renaissance Center. Upon hearing the idea, the mother asked for a proposal and soon sent us our first grant. This same foundation (along with many community and private donors) has supported our programs for 16 years. Amazing!